Relevant Windows 7 facts

This is not meant to be a thorough report, just the highlights I found relevant related to its recent release.


  • Starter is weak (for netbooks) 32-bit only, OEM pre-install only
  • Home Basic is for emerging markets (we probably won’t see it in the US much)
  • Home Premium is what most consumers will end up with
  • Professional is the lowest version to include features such as Remote Desktop Serving, Domain Joining, and Windows XP Mode
  • Enterprise is the same as Ultimate but with volume licensing and they both include BitLocker
  • Ultimate has all possible features (of course)

Wikipedia detailed Windows 7 Version Comparison Chart


  • Supposedly 7 can be installed from a USB drive (without hacking).
  • Internet Explorer 8 can pretty much be removed – many parts are integrated into the OS, but the browser can go bye-bye.
  • The sidebar is gone but Gadgets remain, and are more efficient and movable.
  • There is an overly hyped new taskbar.

WordCamp PDX '09 Day 1 – What I came away with

I just attended WordCamp Portland ’09 Day 1 (Sat, Sept. 19 2009) an this is what I came away with…

  • Session: Jason Grigsby – Speed Up WordPress. Make Readers Happy and Your Site Green
    1. Setting expires headers really does matter in the battle for page loading speed/efficiency.
    2. SpriteMe makes CSS sprite implementation so easy there’s little excuse not to try it.
    3. There’s a promising SQL query stats plugin for WP available:  SQL Monitor
  • Session: Woopra intro w/ Lorelle VanFossen (who is very friendly!)
    1. Woopra provides real time analytics via a cross-platform desktop app.
    2. Woopra is free while in beta but will continue supporting most existing accounts when they go full release and start charging for the service.
    3. Woopra utilizes javascript embedded in the site in order to track (line Google Analytics).
    4. Woopra’s real time capabilities provide insight into the results of social networking + marketing campaigns.
    5. Woopra’s interface is snazzy!
  • Session: Matt Mullenweg – WordPress Q&A
    1. Matt is a funny guy in person too!
  • Session: Unconference discussion of the WordPress Codex (I suggested this topic)
    1. The Codex’s short comings are well known and being addressed!
    2. A new “handbook” documentation system is in the works and volunteer help is needed.
    3. The plan is to approach many help topics from multiple points of view such as Theme Designer, Core Developer, Plugin Developer, etc. as well as having “lessons” for particular tasks.
    4. The new docs will be standardized, version controlled, community driven, and overseen by the WP team.
    5. We can contribute to the current Codex (it’s MediaWiki driven) and our good stuff won’t be lost in the change over.
    6. A jobs board for is in the works – community cred will be associated with contractors offering their services.
    7. There is a passionate accessible open source community behind WordPress! It may be hard to find but it’s definitely there, and they need volunteer help from anyone involved in WordPress – even if you’re brand spanking new, they need your perspective! Some resources for contributing to WordPress:

On another note, there was an interesting mix of MacBooks and NetBooks at the con and from what I was seeing the WiFi was a little flaky (had some issues getting an IP).

If you would like to talk to me at the conference Sunday I will be wearing the below pictured yellow Kool-Aid Man Web 2.OH YEAAH!! t-shirt from Mule Design. I may appear to be derisive or zombie-like but I assure you it’s because I am trying to kick the energy beverage habit and suffering the side effects.

If you can’t read my badge on Sunday, my name is Sam.

Why might you want to talk to me?

  1. You enjoy my dry sarcasm.
  2. You have something to say about the WP plugin I wrote: TAC (Theme Authenticity Checker)
  3. You are curious why I only mentioned the above topics and not others.
  4. You take pity on me and want to inflate my ego.
  5. You want to meet a real live person you found on the web (even though I may lack celebrity).
  6. You enjoy the non-WordPress related content on this site and want to give me a high-five.
  7. You think I am a blundering idiot and don’t deserve to live (kindly warn me before you open fire).
  8. You really like the below t-shirt and want your picture taken with me. (I’m pretty good looking as well).
  9. You are having technical difficulties with you computer; Mac, Windows, or Linux and would like my help (I spend my daylight hours as a support technician).


Sometimes Ghost is truly the best tool

HDD stackLately I’ve been loving Clonezilla for rolling out refurbed Dell workstations. It’s been really cool, boot from USB “liveCD”, clone disk to disk directly over gigabit ethernet, reboot, repeat. But after doing 10 of them, I ran into the true limitation of Clonezilla. Clonezilla relies on ntfsclone and partimage (great tools) but they share a key weakness: neither can restore an NTFS drive or partition image to a smaller target – in my case it was a matter of a dozen sectors. It’s ironic because both tools only copy the used blocks and seem to support resizing but they just plain don’t do it. Needless to say I couldn’t accept that fact until I was done pounding my head against the issue thoroughly, then I used the de facto Windows imaging tool: Norton Ghost.

So, its 4:00 AM and I’m in the lab finishing up my Ghost disk-to-disk imaging on the remaining machines…

Total time to break remaining boxes and yank HDs + Ghost imaging time = 30 mins.

Time wasted to get to this point = 3 hours.

If anyone can prove me wrong concerning the shortcomings of Clonezilla, please do (and comment, duh).

Fix slow connections to Ubuntu SSH servers

As of Ubuntu 8.10 and older, connections to SSH servers with default configs can be annoyingly slow. Thisterminal is because the OpenSSH daemon uses DNS to run a reverse lookup on the client to be sure that they aren’t faking their hostname. You can disable most look-ups by implementing the following setting:

As root edit “/etc/ssh/sshd_config” and add the line “UseDNS no“.

This can also be done by running the following command:

[code]sudo echo “UseDNS no” >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config[/code]


This issue is documented at

Fix and more details available at:

Hide Administrator from Welcome Screen in Vista

By default the Administrator account in Vista is Disabled – everything is run in a sudo fashion withoutvista-icon actually logging in to the Administrator account. Some times due to external password recovery systems or other various reasons the built-in Administrator account is enabled, causing it to show up on the Welcome Screen.

In order to stop the Administrator account from showing as a login option on the Welcome Screen in Windows Vista you need to set the Administrator account to not active with the net user command from an Administrative cmd prompt as follows:

[sourcecode]net user Administrator /active:no[/sourcecode]

Some people report that the “/” causes the command to fail, try it without:

[sourcecode]net user Administrator active:no[/sourcecode]

From then on the the Administrator account should no longer show on the Welcome Screen.


HP Service is Scared of a little Bug

After spending 6+ hours on the phone with HP Technical Support (not an exaggeration) attempting to convince them that the issue with our customer’s HP Slimline was in fact hardware related and not a configuration problem (that’s another story), they finally agreed to replace the motherboard under warranty. When we got the computer back and read the service report we were less than pleased… Continue reading “HP Service is Scared of a little Bug”